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Wildcats close with a win, now eye district run

by: Miles Vance FLYING — Westview junior Dominique Keel (left) and Southridge sophomore Sabrina Moore speed toward the finish line in the 200-meter dash at Southridge High School last week.

BEAVERTON - There was still a lot on the line when the Westview girls track team rolled into Southridge for last week's Metro League regular season finale.

The Wildcats and Skyhawks both entered the meet at 3-2 with third place on the line, not to mention the chance to build momentum and confidence heading into district. Westview made the most of its chance, winning 10 events and pulling away for an 80-65 decision at Southridge High School on May 4.

As to that aforementioned momentum and confidence, nobody picked up more in that arena than Westview junior sprinter Dominique Keel. Keel, the reigning Class 6A state champ in the 100 meters, stepped up and beat Southridge sophomore Sabrina Moore for the first time in three tries this year, clocking in at 12.26 seconds in the 100 (Moore was second at 12.35), then winning again in the 200 with a mark of 25.51 (with Moore second at 25.79).

'It was really nice because I beat her for the first time,' Keel said. 'It just felt good. I've got my confidence back up. I'm believing in myself.'

That said, Keel knows that Moore - and a handful of others from around the talented Metro League - will come back strong at district. Indeed, Moore still owns the Metro's and state's best time in the 100 (12.08) and is a dangerous threat in the 200 as well.

'She's tough. She's really tough,' Keel said of Moore. 'I really hope that I get back to where I was, but she's so good.'

Other wins for Westview came from: Rebecca Lupescu in the 1500 at 5:08.54; Morgan Francis in the 3000 at 12:11.97; Maliea Luquin in the high hurdles at 15.13; the 4 x 100 team of Emily Sippel, Luquin, Kelsie Jordan and Dominique Keel in 48.85; Helen Harder in the discus at 102 feet, 3 inches; Jessica Lautenbach in the high jump at 5 feet; Emily McGaffey in the pole vault at 9-0; and Chazarae Gaspar in the triple jump at 34-9.50.

Also key to Westview's win were its 1-2-3 sweeps in the high jump (where Justine Bird took second and Hannah Garrity third) and the triple jump (with Elizabeth Coryell second and teammate Jennifer Kohama third).

Still, shorthanded Southridge - which competed without injured stars Lainey Nash (the reigning state champ in the 400) and Madison Smukalla - gave the Cats a run for their money before all was said and done.

'The team is as ready as we can be for the district meet,' said Southridge coach Bruce Rife. 'The key to our success will be if we can stay healthy and injury-free until state.'

Of those that did compete, senior Haley Hunt stepped up to run her fastest 800 of the season, notching a 2:22.96 to beat teammate Rachel Niesen (2:26.70) and Westview's Paisley Hiefield (2:28.45).

'I wish I would have run a little faster, but I felt strong. I had a good steady pace,' Hunt said. 'I was just trying to push my last 250. I picked it up a little bit and my time was fine.

Hunt, who will walk on and run at Oregon State next year - 'I'm so stoked. I can't wait,' she said - came back to win again in the day's last event, teaming with Abigail Lamb, Lora Ross and Lily Mayko to win the 4 x 400 relay at 4:07.13.

Southridge's other winners were: Lamb in the 400 at 1:01.60; Mayko in the 300 intermediate hurdles at 46.20; Marisa Hamilton in the shot put at 37-0; Katie Maginnis in the javelin at 105-5; and Jordyn Searle in the long jump at 17-1.50.

The Metro district meet opened yesterday (Wednesday) and concludes beginning at 4 p.m. Friday at Aloha High School.